Bird and Wildlife Proponents, Ably Assisted by The Press of Atlantic City, Launch Malicious Libel Campaign Against Feral Cats
"Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it."
-- Edmund Burke
Like a swarm of hungry, disease-spreading mosquitoes attacking an unprotected arm on a summer's day, bird lovers and wildlife proponents have launched a virulent campaign against southern New Jersey's feral and stray cats. Their objective is, of course, to demonize cats to the point that they are able to gain public support for their extermination campaigns. (See photo above of a trio of Atlantic City's famous Boardwalk cats.)
The opening salvo in this heated war was fired on June 21st by Pleasantville's Eric Davis of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (See logo below) in a mendacious and cleverly worded anti-cat diatribe that was immediately gobbled up as prime rib by the unprincipled editors of The Press of Atlantic City. (See "A Better Idea for Both Cats and Plovers: Trap, Neuter, Adopt.")
Like a couple of sewer rats going after a piece of moldy cheese, inveterate liars and longtime cat haters Linda Cherkassky of Voorhees and Doug "Mad Dog" Donato of Margate were quick to offer their unconditional support to the USFWS in July 2nd letters also published by The Press. (See "Feral Cats Aren't Wildlife" and "Ban Feeding of Feral Cats.")
With scarcely any evidence to support their preposterous claims, Davis, Cherkassky, and Donato falsely accuse cats of being the number one enemy of birds and wildlife. Even if this were the case, it would still have to be balanced against the number of cats and kittens that birds, wildlife, and their supporters kill each year.
Moreover, they are contradicted by Pete Bacinksi and Scott Barnes of the New Jersey Audubon Society who blame foxes, raccoons, and sea gulls for having an even greater detrimental impact upon nesting shore birds than feral cats. (See Newark's Star Ledger, July 1, 2007, "Respect Beach Rules to Protect Nesting Birds.") More to the point, the authors argue that human traffic and n'oreasters are more harmful to birds than animal predation.
From that inauspicious beginning, Davis and Cherkassky proceed to repeat verbatim the American Bird Conservancy's nonsensical fascist dogma that since cats are not native to North America they have forfeited their right to exist on these shores. If that is to be the standard by which all species are to be judged, then neither the USFWS, the ABC, Cherkassky, nor Donato have any right to be here because they, too, constitute an invasive species. The same rationale would equally apply to America's more than one-hundred-thirty-seven species of non-native birds.
Unlike Davis, Cherkassky, Donato, and their ancestors who came to America as either fortune hunters or criminals on the lam, Felis domesticus were, like African slaves, forcibly shipped to America and elsewhere against their will. In particular, the first cat is believed to have been brought to Peru in 1535 by the Spanish conquistadors in order to combat the rampant spread of rats that they and other imperialists (Vikings, e.g.) had introduced to the Americas.
Considering their history as victims of imperialism, the invaluable contributions that they have made in protecting grain stores and checking the spread of diseases carried by rats, as well as their inalienable right to both life and liberty, cats have without question earned the right to live wherever they please or circumstances dictate and that includes outdoors. Contrary to whatever megalomaniacal and fascist views that they may harbor, bird lovers and wildlife proponents do not own the great outdoors in America or anywhere else.
The trio next trots out the often repeated lie that outdoor cats are more prone to disease and therefore less healthy than indoor cats in spite the fact that it has been refuted by Dr. Nancy Trun of Duquesne, Kansas City-area veterinarian Sheila Dodson, and others. It is indisputable, however, that outdoor cats are eating considerably less contaminated commercial cat food than are house cats.
It is doubtful that any commercial pet food is good for either cats or dogs. Dry food causes urinary tract problems in cats and canned meats are comprised largely of slaughterhouse offal and roadkill. Cooping up cats indoors is harmful for both their physical and mental health as Cats Protection in Haywards Heath, Sussex and Nathan Winograd, formerly of the San Francisco SPCA (SFSPCA), have testified.
The allegation that cats spread deadly diseases has not only never been substantiated but, more importantly, it is precisely birds that spread the deadly West Nile Virus, influenza, and all sorts of other diseases. Wildlife, such as raccoons and foxes in particular, are also known to spread rabies.
As to what should be done about America's estimated seventy million homeless cats, Davis, Cherkassky, and Donato are first and foremost adamantly opposed to TNR. Despite its overuse by zealous practitioners, such as Alley Cat Allies and others, TNR so far has been proven to be the only halfway humane method of curbing feline overpopulation. It more than likely will be eventually replaced by feline contraceptives which are currently under development.
It is on this particular point that Davis demonstrates his deceitfulness by arguing that TNR should be scrapped in favor of a policy of trap, neuter, and adopt. He is lying through his teeth because he knows as well as everyone else that one-hundred per cent of all feral cats trapped by Animal Control and other non-practitioners of TNR are immediately exterminated. None of them are put up for adoption and many of them are killed even before they arrive at shelters.
For her part, Cherkassky is far more honest, albeit murderous, when she argues that all feral cats should be killed outright. As far as this monster is concerned, cats are merely vermin and do not have any rights. Furthermore, she and Donato would even like to see the feeding of feral cats, but not birds of course, criminalized. (See photo below of an unidentified man feeding the Boardwalk cats.)
The trio's strident opposition to TNR is in marked contrast to the opinions expressed by Jan McHugh-Smith, the current head of the SFSPCA, who is an avid supporter of TNR. "I think feral cats are in our environment. They're part of our ecology," she told the San Francisco Chronicle on June 23rd. (See "San Francisco SPCA Offers $2,000 Reward" and Cat Defender post of July 2, 2007 entitled "Cats Are Being Poisoned with Antifreeze in San Francisco but Animal Control Refuses to Take Killings Seriously.")
Not about to leave any stone unturned, the cat haters invoke both the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Migratory Bird Treaty as authorizing them to kill cats with impunity. While it is extremely doubtful that the drafters of those pioneering conservation measures ever intended them to be used as subterfuges in order for ailurophobes to kill cats, bird and wildlife proponents purposefully neglect to inform the public that they routinely violate both acts, as well as the Marine Mammals Protection Act of 1972, whenever it suits their evil designs.
It must first of all be remembered that the sodium pentobarbital-laced corpses of millions of cats exterminated by shelters each year are dumped in landfills where birds and wildlife, some of which are protected by the ESA, either feed upon them and die immediately or are later killed by predators because they become too drowsy to defend themselves. This petit fait alone calls into question the assumption that bird and wildlife advocates are acting in the best interests of the animals that they are sworn to protect.
For instance, wildlife officials have recently petitioned the Commerce Department for the authority to kill California sea lions in the Columbia River. This action is being undertaken at the behest of commercial fishermen who are too greedy to share the salmon with the sea lions. (See Associated Press, June 24, 2007, "Sea Lions Once Again Winning Against Columbia River Hazers," the CBC's As It Happens, June 25, 2007, "Oregon Sea Lions," and Washington Post, June 27, 2007, "Leaving No Tracks," which details Dick Cheney's role in this sordid affair.)
Pimping for commercial interests is par for the course as far as the USFWS is concerned. Par exemple, in 2004 it exterminated almost three million beavers, opossums, prairie dogs, raccoons, rabbits, bears, cougars, foxes, coyotes, wolves, snakes, and birds at the request of mainly ranchers and farmers. Its primary function is not to protect wildlife not rather to serve as a publicly financed de facto death squad for the capitalists. (See Cat Defender post of September 5, 2005 entitled "United States Government Exterminates Millions of Wild Animals at the Behest of Capitalists.")
Bird lovers are every bit as bloodthirsty as wildlife proponents. In its 2007 State of the Birds report, the Connecticut Audubon Society, backed up all the way by the diabolical ABC, called not only for the eradication of all feral cats but also Canada geese, mute swans, mallard ducks, and deer. (See Cat Defender post of March 15, 2007, "Connecticut Audubon Society Shows Its True Colors by Calling for the Slaughter of Feral Cats, Mute Swans, Mallards, Canada Geese, and Deer.")
Famed cat hater Jim Stevenson (See mug shot above) of the Galveston Ornithological Society has even bragged on his web site that he has gunned down hundreds of cats. (See Cat Defender posts of November 22, 2006 and May 1, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Evil Galveston Bird Lover Is Finally Arrested After Having Gunned Down Hundreds of Cats" and "Houston Chronicle Launches a Propaganda Offensive on Behalf of Serial Cat Killer Jim Stevenson.")
Psychopaths such as Richard DeSantis (See mug shot below) of West Islip on Long Island illegally trap their neighbors' cats and then turn them over to shelters to be killed. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2006 and March 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Serial Cat Killer on Long Island Traps Neighbors' Cats and Then Gives Them to Shelter to Exterminate" and "Long Island Serial Cat Killer Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, Corrupt Court Rules.")
Robert and Debbie McCallum of the Seattle suburb of Edmonds attempted to do the same thing to Laura Martin's cat but were foiled. (See Cat Defender post of October 30, 2006 entitled "Collar Saves a Cat Named Turbo from Extermination After He Is Illegally Trapped by Bird-Loving Psychopaths.")
Both Davis and Cherkassky, like most wildlife and bird advocates, always preface their anti-cat screeds by making an obligatory declaration about how much they love cats and that they are only advocating that they be exterminated for their own good. That sort of sophistry is akin to a genocidal maniac attempting to excuse his war crimes on humanitarian grounds!
Since bird and wildlife proponents devote about ninety-eight per cent of their time and resources to defaming and killing cats, it is scarcely surprising that they have almost nothing to say about the really important threats faced by all animals, such as war, global warming, habitat destruction, pesticides, pollution, and genetically engineered crops. In addition to these travails, birds are plagued by diseases such as the West Nile Virus and Vogelgrippe, collisions with tall buildings, communications towers, and wind farms, predation by other birds, wildlife, and rodents, and noise pollution which interferes with their ability to teach their fledglings how to sing, fly, and hunt.
A scarcity of food also may be a factor in avian mortality rates. For instance, in recent weeks more than a thousand malnourished greater shearwaters have been found dead in the Bahamas and along the eastern seaboard from Florida to the Carolinas. (See Associated Press, July 4, 2007, "Surge of Dead Seabirds Alarms Scientists.")
It is too bad that most cats harbor an antipathy for the water because otherwise the South Jersey trio could accuse them of depleting the shearwaters' food sources. Given time, however, they will surely come up with some reductio ad absurdum in order to lay the blame for these deaths at the feet of cats.
Although birds and wildlife have a right to both life and liberty, they are far from being the angels that their supporters portray them to be. Birds, in particular, kill cats, rodents, mammals, insects, and other birds.
In addition to spreading deadly diseases, they also foul ponds, streams, yards, and streets with excrement. In this context it is important to point out that nobody has ever complained about cats pooping on their heads.
Birds also start forest fires and destroy crops. It is a minor yet often overlooked petit fait, but der Strohpuppen are not erected in order to protect crops from cats.
Last autumn, raccoons in Olympia and coyotes in Everett invaded residential backyards and killed dozens of cats and dogs while Washington State wildlife officials stood idly by laughing. (See Cat Defender posts of August 28, 2006 and October 2, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Marauding Pack of Vicious Raccoons Rip Ten House Cats to Shreds and Terrorize Residents but Wildlife Officials Refuse to Intervene," and "Coyotes, Cheered on by Wildlife Officials, Join Raccoons in Killing Cats and Dogs in Washington State.")
Over the past year the situation has only gotten worse and coyotes are now routinely killing house cats in downtown Seattle while peregrine falcons are attacking caged parrots. (See The Seattle Times, July 4, 2007, "Coyotes Chow Down in Town.") Just as before, wildlife officials are yuking it up as heartbroken cat owners are left to cry in their beers.
Cat haters are by no means limited to the rank and file of the USFWS, state wildlife officials, and individuals such as Cherkassky and Donato. The views expressed by them are wholeheartedly shared by, inter alia, the ABC, the National Audubon Society, PETA, National Geographic, The (sic) Wildlife Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and the National Wildlife Federation.
In spite of whatever professional differences of opinion that they may have, they are all united by their inveterate hatred of cats and their total lack of integrity. Devious and deadly, these unscrupulous liars will never rest so long as a single cat is left to roam the face of the earth.
As Edmund Burke said a long time ago, "Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it." In other words, cat haters only become more emboldened with each new success.
Well-connected and with money to burn, they are especially adept at inveigling the capitalist media and legislators into doing their bidding. For example, on April 25th the ABC enticed the normally reliable Common Dreams into posting on its web site one of its anti-cat screeds. (See "Next U.S. Species to Go Extinct May Be Two Hawaiian Birds.")
Later on May 25th, it teamed up with The Wildlife Society in order to prevail upon the Environmental News Network (ENN) to post another of its malicious libels directed against cats. (See "The Wildlife Society and the American Bird Conservancy Remind Pet Owners That the Great Outdoors Is Not a Great Place for Cats.")
Since both pieces were posted as press releases, neither Common Dreams nor ENN would allow readers to respond the ailurophobes' lies. This is, of course, the way that bird and wildlife proponents prefer to play the game.
Cherkassky and Donato also have the resources and time to defame cats on a full-time basis. Full of bile but yet too lazy to come up with anything original, Cherkassky mails the same letter that she sent to The Press to seemingly every newspaper and television station on the planet and they stupidly reprint her stale lies over and over ad nauseam.
Although not nearly as prolific as Cherkassky, "Mad Dog" Donato plays the same game with just as much fervor. Back in late 2003 and in early 2004, he invoked the SARS scare in a failed attempt to con the City Council in Atlantic City into killing off the Boardwalk cats. This despicable action was attempted in spite of the fact that Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, an epidemiologist with the State of New Jersey, had testified at the time that there was absolutely no evidence that domestic animals can transmit SARS to humans.
The capitalist media's willingness to provide cat haters with a forum in order to propagate their lies is an indication that they either support them or that they have scrapped any pretext of adhering to sound journalistic practices. As any halfwit outside the media knows, there are at least two sides to every story and fairness dictates that both sides be heard.
As Sherlock Holmes was fond of saying, the game is afoot. In other words, the machinations of bird and wildlife proponents should serve as a wake-up call for all cat lovers.
As obnoxious, ruthless, and despicable as they are, these morally-warped cat hating monsters must nonetheless be confronted and exposed. Like all evildoers, they are creatures of darkness and as such their prejudices and crimes will not be able to withstand the light the day.
Photos: Flickr, Enfield, CT (Boardwalk cats), USFWS (logo), Galveston Police Department (Stevenson), Newsday (De Santis), and Flickr, Iirrae (man feeding cats).